By Panyika Anselm Karimanzira


Just over a month ago, Linda Zvabva, a passionate human rights activist and member of ROHR Zimbabwe came up with the idea of mobilizing membership and forming a branch of ROHR Zimbabwe in Southampton.

She approached the National Executive of the UK Chapter, who immediately took the idea on board.

Linda Zvabva and the UK Chapter National Executive then started approaching known local human rights activists who included the likes of Charles Mugwindiri, Blessing Rinashe and Triphine Maguwu, with a view to mobilizing for the formation of the proposed branch.

18th February, 2012 was then set as the date for the official launch of ROHR Zimbabwe Southampton branch and indeed, ROHR Zimbabwe Southampton Branch, which started as a simple idea, was born on that day.

The occasion was graced by The Chairperson of The Board of Trustees of ROHR Zimbabwe, Grace Mupfutsa and overseen by members of the ROHR Zimbabwe’s UK National Executive Committee in the mould of Ronald Oputeri (Acting Chairperson), Paradzai Mapfumo (National Co-ordinator) and Panyika Karimanzira (Secretary for Information & Publicity)

The branch committee that evolved from the launch comprises of the following;

Linda Zvabva – Chairperson

Aleck Sigauke – Vice Chairperson

Charles Mugwindiri – Secretary

Doreen Williams – Vice Secretary

Traiphine Maguwu – Secretary for Information & Publicity

Maggie Rinashe – Treasurer

Loveness Gonyora – Deputy treasurer

Blessing Rinashe – Organizing Secretary

Brian Kaitano – Deputy Organizing Secretary

Winfred Moyo – Fundraiser

Rebecca Mupawose – Deputy Fundraiser

In her maiden speech, Linda Zvabva, the chairperson thanked everyone for making this historic event a resounding success and pledged to work hard with her new team, towards furthering the human rights cause.

Other speakers at the event included Ms Grace Mupfurutsa, Mr Ronald Oputeri, Mr Paradzai Mapfumo and Mr Panyika Karimanzira who collectively gave the complete history of ROHR Zimbabwe as well as its aims & objectives. They also updated the members present on the work of ROHR Zimbabwe on the ground in Zimbabwe and the persecution of our members in Zimbabwe over the years, including the most recent unjustified and unlawful arrest and detention of the Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Mr Stendrick Zvorwadza.

After the official announcement of the Branch Committee of the Southampton Branch of ROHR Zimbabwe, all in attendance burst into song “ROHR yedu yazobudirira” amid jubilant scenes reminiscent of The Zimbabwe Vigil in London and ROHR Zimbabwe Vigil in Manchester.

The event attracted attendants from Bradford, Bournemouth, Bristol, Kent, Manchester, Southampton and Wakefield.

For pictures of the event please visit our photo gallery on our temp website or click on the following link :- ROHR _SOUTHAMPTON BRANCH LAUNCH_18.02.2012

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